Weight loss is tough because it means changing how you behave and the ways you think or feel about food—after all, there is a reason you got to the weight you are now. Sometimes, issues such as thyroid function or your gut microbiome can contribute to weight gain and present challenges to losing those extra pounds. Sometimes your weakness is emotional eating. Additionally, certain medications and medical conditions can cause weight gain and fat accumulation.
Weight loss success happens in two main ways:
1. When you eat healthy foods and avoid unhealthy ones; this automatically will limit your food intake and therefore is a calorie-restricted approach to weight loss, whether the diet claims to be about calories or not.
2. When you make lifestyle changes, such as increasing physical activity, drinking more water, and limiting the time when you eat (such as intermittent fasting).
The best diet for losing weight—and keeping it off—is one that you can live with long-term, with real food as the base.
Here are our tips for healthy weight control that's long-lasting:
1. Have a plan.
We've all heard the saying, "When you aim at nothing, you achieve it." Set calorie and dietary goals before you begin. Keep track as a tool to hold yourself accountable. Meal prepping and planning weekly will help avoid unnecessary surprises and temptations. Keep track of your foods as a tool to hold yourself accountable.
2. Drink water.
Pure water is the liquid of life, and that makes it the logical choice instead of those sugary drinks that contribute to weight gain and derail your weight management plans. There is strong evidence that drinking water helps boost your metabolism. As a bonus, drinking water before meals acts as a natural appetite suppressant, which can help you not to overeat or make unhealthy choices that you might regret later.
3. Make exercise a priority.
Non-exercise weight loss is possible, but you don't want to lose muscle mass along with those pounds. Healthy weight loss includes maintaining your muscles with physical activity, combining moderate-intensity cardio work and strength training.
Besides keeping your muscular and skeletal systems in shape, physical activity is good for boosting your metabolism. This increases your energy expenditure and helps you achieve the calorie deficit you are aiming for. Exercise also has a positive effect on mood.
4. Need for essential nutrients
Even with the healthiest diet full of vegetables, we can be lacking in key nutrients to drive metabolism and cellular function. These essential nutrients are termed that because they need to be supplied by diet (or supplementation). The top ones to add in are magnesium, vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, and B vitamins.
5. Consider the role of stress and sleep.
These two silent sabotagers' can interfere with progress. The hormone cortisol, produced during stress, creates unnecessary sugar cravings and can slow metabolism. Sleep-deprived individuals tend to have bigger appetites and consume higher calories, carbohydrates, and fat as a result. Lack of sleep can also stimulate a rise in cortisol and throw off our hunger hormones like ghrelin and leptin.
The most important aspect is to be consistent and realistic. Pick a strategy of healthy eating habits that you can stick to and then do it. If you fall off the wagon, be kind to yourself and reframe your setback as a temporary slip on your journey. After all, it is your daily food choices and eating habits that matter, not a few "off" days. Don't let occasional overindulgences derail your plans. Keep your goals in mind and focus on the physical and mental health benefits you have enjoyed as you shed those pounds.
Weight loss is a journey and our staff at Age Management of West Michigan are always available. Whether you are looking to lose 10lbs, 50lbs, or to maintain, we have programs to assist you. Contact us today.